A Pause On The River

When you are hurtling down a fast-moving river in a kayak, the one thing you don’t do is take in the scenery or contemplate the changing nature of the river. Your focus is on navigating the river, in order to avoid getting splattered on a rock. Something similar happens to people in rapidly changing times. Current events are that fast-moving river, while politics are the rucks creating the rapids. Those engaged in it are living in the never ending present, taking on each obstacle as they come.

Unlike the kayaker, people in the fast-moving currents of a rapidly changing society can stop and think about just how far down the river they have traveled. In fact, it is probably the only way to keep your head above water. It’s also useful in preparing for what is coming, as in the moment, just like the kayaker flying through the rapids, it is hard to understand what is driving events. The reason things today are as they are is people made specific decisions in the past that led to this point.

One of those things that is very different now, compared to further back in the journey, is how the Right thinks about the media. In this discussion, the Right are dissidents, not the flaks and hustlers hired by corporate interests. Not so long, the Left saw the media as mostly fair, while conservatives saw the media as biased. The complaint was the typical media person was honest, but on the Left. Today, dissidents see the media as wholly corrupt, even what passes for right-wing media.

Added to that is if you go back far enough, say the 1980’s, the Left used to complain about corporate media. The Michael Moore types would warn that corporations gobbling up local newspapers and radio stations would destroy the media. The Right mostly dismissed these concerns. After all, capitalism is always good. It turns out that those left-wing cranks were right. Astoundingly, to those of a certain age, modern dissidents sound a lot like those left-wing cranks from back then.

In the 1980’s and into the 1990’s, to be on the Left meant opposing the corporatization of America. This was mostly a carryover from the economic radicals of the prior generation, but honest liberals worried about the power of global capital. They argued against liberalization of banking and the creation of massive financial institutions that were impossible to regulate. To be on the Right back then was to dismiss these concerns as vestiges of a bygone era.

Today, dissidents are the harshest critics of corporate capital and globalization, often sounding more like Bolsheviks than right-wingers. It’s why older dissidents, like Jared Taylor, are a bit alarmed by what they hear from the younger generation of dissidents regarding economics. They hear these critiques of modern capitalism and hear the ugly echoes of Michael Moore and Noam Chomsky. Of course, those younger dissidents formed their views far downstream from the prior generation.

Listen to dissidents talk about the culture, if you are of a certain age or older, and you hear the faint echoes of the hippies and beatniks of yesteryear. It was the counter-culture types that first criticized mass culture for its dehumanizing effects. They were the ones to first suggest dropping out to avoid being rubbed out. Today, it is dissidents dropping out of mass culture. Cord cutting and “not consuming product” are the modern version of “Turn on, tune in, drop out.”

This inversion of cultural reality is hard to appreciate, especially if you are a young person, as like the kayaker, the demands of the present don’t leave much time to contemplate the past. Even so, it is an important change in the culture of the country that should inform dissident politics. Maybe if more right-wingers had listened to the critics of corporate power a generation ago, we would not be dealing with the reality of a Jewish oligarch buying the White House in 2020.

It is also a good reminder that reactionaries always lose. The Right a generation ago, whatever its original aims, was transformed into a dancing partner of the Left and not the lead partner. The result was a Right that defended that which should not have been defended and blind to that which was the true threat to the nation. Conservatism in the 1980’s became nothing more than reaction to the excesses of left-wing people, rather than a response to left-wing politics.

There’s also the fact that the people manipulating events are not stupid and should never be dismissed as such. The anti-white raging we see today started a long time ago with the push for tolerance. The people pushing it knew what they were doing. When they told us to celebrate diversity, they never meant it. They always meant diversity to mean no white people. They just knew they could not say that, so they used the weight of the right-wing reactionaries against them instead.

That’s a lesson the modern dissident should try to learn from the failure of Buckley conservatism, as well as the failure of the old Left. Those people criticizing mass culture were right, but they did not win the argument. They had bad optics. The people worried about the growth of corporate power lost because they did not appreciate the power of material comfort. Simply opposing people you don’t like, almost always leads to succumbing to events you like even less.

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The Conspiracy Metric

A useful metric to measure the degree of corruption and degradation of a ruling class would be to plot the distance between official truths and actual truth. The greater the distance between official truth and reality, the greater the degeneracy. North Korea, for example, makes fantastical claims about the ruler, while Switzerland barely notices it has a president. The former is a madhouse run by a cult of personality, while the latter is the model of sober-minded, popular governance.

Another possible metric for measuring the health of a society would be the number of popular conspiracy theories and the degree to which people accept them. The Y-axis would be the number of popular conspiracy theories floating around in general conversation, while the X-axis would be the intensity of belief. The Turks have loads of conspiracy theories and they really believe them. The Swiss, of course, have never been in to such theories and are regarded as skeptical by nature.

There is an obvious argument against using such a metric, as it could simply be a proxy for the general intelligence of the population. Stupid people are more prone to believe fantastical explanations for events than smart people. The QAnon stuff, for example, is a clever mocking of the sorts of people inclined to believe such things. It’s a very clever person with too much time on his hands having fun at the expense of those who are not so clever. Dumb people tend to fall for conspiracy theories.

The thing is, smart people tend to control public discourse in a society, either through owning the means of public discussion or through their influence. A healthy society would have a healthy smart fraction that provides believable and reasonably accurate explanations, so that conspiracy theories are unnecessary. For example, 1950’s America had its tin foil hat crowd, but they were objects of mockery. They did not have millions of paying customers to their internet video operation.

The conspiracy metric would pick up two important factors. One is the size and influence of the smart fraction and its willingness to shape public debate. North Koreans probably have loads of wacky theories about their society, because the smart North Koreans spend all of their time lying to them about what’s happening. That and making sure they don’t get on the wrong side of the tubby cult leader. North Korea has a smart fraction, but it is exceedingly corrupt and paranoid.

That’s an important part of conspiracy theories. The reason they appeal to stupid people is stupid people struggle to understand things. The conspiracy theory allows them to have a simple answer for observable phenomenon. This is an important part of the human animal. We evolved for a very long time, paranoid about what was lurking in the bushes, under the water and in the shadows. Recognizing patterns and creating useful explanations for those patterns is our nature.

In the modern age, that need to fear the dark is still there, so it expresses for many people as belief in harmless conspiracy theories about UFO’s and secret government agencies that run things from the shadows. Even smart people struggle to accept that serendipity and fate are often the powerful forces behind events. People need to know why things happen. If there is no rational explanation for why something happened, then they will gladly accept an irrational one.

Of course, con-men often play on this reality to get people to believe some nonsense that aids the con man in his schemes. Government is also fond of using conspiracy theories to promote their interests. Getting people to believe, for example, that a secret agency using special software can read your e-mail in real-time has enormous benefits to the security state. It causes the people they are tracking to act in ways that are more easily monitored and more easily detected.

If you are a small group of people with an enormous amount of power, people will eventually notice it. Trying to hide this fact is a waste of resources, so the better course is to own and amplify this reality. If you can turn your opponents into aluminum hat wearing nutters, that directs attention away from the truth and onto the conspiracy theorists. All of those theories about secret government programs and 4-D chess, cloak and dagger operations serves the interests of the state.

That’s another reason the conspiracy metric would be useful. The more corrupt the government, the more likely they are to foster conspiracy theories. Of course, people with a corrupt ruling class are more inclined to believe bad things about their betters, so the metric would pick up that side as well. The conspiracy metric would be capturing one aspect of social trust. That is the horizontal bonds that bind the ruling class of a society to the layers beneath them.

Now, the major flaw, at least at this stage, is measuring the number and degree of conspiracy theirs in a society. It’s another one of those things that we can sense, but we struggle to define. We know the difference between pornography and art, in a general sense, but drawing the line is difficult. The same can be said for the line between conspiracy theory and simple suspicion. We can easily identify the extremes but figuring out where to put the line is difficult.

Maybe like the truth gap between official reality and actual reality, the conspiracy index does not have to be precise. We don’t need an exact number to see that the official truth from the current ruling class is much further from reality than in the past. We have enough examples to know the gap is much bigger. The same can be said for the conspiracy metric. QAnon would not have fooled people 50 years ago. We have more stupid and paranoid people today than back then.

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The Global Paradox

When one era ends and another begins is always a hot topic for historians and academics, because history does not make it easy. The old staggers on for a long time, despite it having become pointless or exhausted. The new is not always ready to take center stage, so it is never clear as to when it started. It is Sorites Paradox. Just as we know there is a point where grains of sand eventually become a heap, we know one epoch gives way to another, but exactly when is impossible to say.

Of course, while you are in such a transition period, it is even more difficult to know when the old has finally receded into the past and when the new has begun. History is full of false starts and false transitions. Ideologues are always sure the great transition is right around the corner. For the people living through a transition, it just feels like a “great muddling through” for those aware of what’s happening. For the rest it is just the way things are, as they try to not to think about such things.

Whether we are in such a great transition is hard to know for certain, but people who think of such things are thinking about it. This paper on how NATO can adapt to the populist era is such an example. It is written by Jeff Giesea, someone who has been on the edges of populist politics in America. The focus on the paper in how NATO can adapt to the rise of populism in Europe in order to maintain itself and address some of the issues that give rise to populist movements.

NATO is a great example of why marking the end of one period and the start of the next is so difficult, especially for the people living through it. The senior administrative staff in NATO probably started their careers in the Cold War. Many of the senior political leaders in the West are still people who came of age in that era. NATO has already outlived the Cold War and now may be outliving the age of globalism. It is a legacy institution that still staggers on for no obvious reason.

That’s why they invest time and money thinking about how the institution can adapt to the new age, whatever one calls it. What started as a temporary alliance among Western nations to guard against Soviet aggression in Europe, is now a permanent part of the European landscape. It’s like a union job or a government contract. No one wants to see it end. The Red Army is long gone, but NATO remains ready for them if they ever reappear on the European Plain.

It is a good example of the problems of post-nationalism. NATO was always a national entity, designed to defend nations. In a world without borders, having a military organization built for defending borders makes little sense. Critics of the organization always point to the collapse of the Soviet Union, but the bigger problem for NATO is that it is rooted in the concept of sovereign nations. Each member contributes men, material, bases and money to maintain a joint military force.

In a world where European countries don’t have control of control over their own budgets and cannot mint their own coins, how can they possibly have an active voice in a military alliance? Italy, for example, has to get permission from Brussels to operate a new landfill or power plant. The EU regulates the acceptable size of bananas and how much can be spent on picking up dog droppings. Globalism reduced nations to dependents with no agency of their own.

NATO also underscores a hidden truth about globalism and that is it only exists because the American empire exists. NATO exist because America keeps it going. If America ever started acting like a real country again, it would abandon legacy entities like NATO, as they serve no national interest. The same is true about globalism. The EU has been allowed to flourish, because it enjoys American protection. Take that protection away and Europe returns to a continent of nations.

It’s also an example of how the people muddling through a transition period may be all wrong about what they are noticing. The conventional wisdom says the world is transitioning from nationalism to post-nationalism. Global entities will supplant nation states and global corporations will manage the global economy. These populist uprisings we see in the West are just rearguard actions by those who will not be part of the glorious multicultural global paradise that is tomorrow.

In reality, we may be living through the opposite. The Cold War era may have been the globalist era, dominated by two great democratic empires. On the one side was the democracy of communism. On the other was the democracy of natural rights. First the Soviet Empire collapsed and now the American Empire is receding. The flurry of cosmopolitan globalism is not a rearguard action, but more like the scavengers profiting from the end of that great epoch in Western history.

What is called populism today is simply the West waking up from the long slumber that was the great battle between two empires. Generations of Europeans sublimating national interests for a common defense are now waking up from that period to assert those interests again. In the US, regional and now racial interests that have long been suppressed are bubbling up to the surface. Just as NATO is an entity from a bygone era, cosmopolitan globalism is the echo of a bygone age.

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What If You’re Wrong

A good rule that no one anywhere follows, is to contemplate the consequences of being wrong before doing something. For example, if legislatures had to post a wrongness analysis for every bill before they could be voted on, at least some of the terrible ideas would get stopped before becoming law. Of course, that is probably why such a thing can never happen, at least in a democracy. New ideas are about hope and nothing is worse than dashing the reformer’s hope for the future.

Even so, thinking about wrongness has its utility. For example, many people on the Right still cling to the idea that government cannot keep borrowing money. Going back to the 1980’s, perhaps even further, conservatives have been predicting that there is some limit to government debt. Ronald Reagan ran on this idea in 1980, when the Federal debt stood at $900 billion. Forty years later and the debt is $23 trillion, a number so large no one can imagine it.

Maybe there is no limit to debt. Maybe what conservatives think they know about public debt is wrong and disaster is not around the corner. If this were anything else, that’s how you would bet. If the weather had been sunny for forty years, despite daily forecasts calling for showers, you would have stopped listening to the weatherman a long time ago. Sure, he may be right eventually, but forty years of being wrong still counts for a lot. Maybe conservatives are just wrong about debt too.

Similarly, what if the growth of the state is not going to lead to a citizen revolt against a tyrannical government. This is another chestnut from the so-called conservatives that dates back to the age of Reagan. He ran on the argument that the government was the problem, not the solution. The per capita spending of government, in constant dollars, is close to double what it was in the Reagan years. That’s with the U.S. population growing by more than half in that same period.

Now, in fairness, there has been a negative result to this massive expansion of the state over the last forty years. It’s not that people are angry that it does too much, but that it does too little. This is true all over the West. The populist revolts are fueled by demands that the government do more to address the concerns of the people. It turns out that everyone was wrong about the size of government. The bigger it gets, the worse it gets at doing the basics and that’s what gets people angry.

How about multiculturalism? An axiom in dissident politics is that diversity plus proximity equals conflict. Many of the same people saying that were wrong about the deficits and the growth of government. Maybe they are wrong about this too. Maybe they are wrong in entirely different ways. What we know so far is the importation of fifty million barbarians has not caused the empire to collapse. It’s made society more fragile, for sure, but collapse is not in the cards, at least so far.

How about something closer to home? Many people on this side of the great divide, especially the former alt-right, are sure Trump is going down to defeat in the 2020 election. They argue that his pandering to civic nationalists, non-whites and Baby Boomers is alienating his real base. Further, they argue that he won in 2016 by getting racially aware whites out to vote. It is a gratuitous assertion, for sure, but it is a common argument on this side of the great divide. What if it is wrong?

Trump, despite his many faults, has proven to be a natural political athlete, one we have not seen in a long time. This is a guy who does everything wrong, according to political convention, yet comes out smelling like a rose. Remember when everyone said WW3 was upon us when he droned the Iranian general? How about those predictions about impeachment? He begged the Democrats to follow through with impeachment and here he is more popular than ever. Maybe he knows something.

It is very possible that Trump does know what he is doing with all the pandering to blacks, Hispanics, one-legged lesbian Elvis impersonators and so on. Further, maybe the votes of the alt-right, white nationalists, racially aware whites and so forth really don’t count for a whole lot in elections. It may be an uncomfortable thought, but in a wrongness analysis, it has to be a possibility. The evidence is pointing in that direction, so maybe all of these folks are wrong about Trump.

Inaction is largely based on the belief of some inevitability that no one dares question, because it is comforting. Generations of conservative white people voted Republican, based on their assumptions about debt and the size of government. That vote was not action, but inaction. They comforted themselves in the belief that inevitability would be the ultimate cure. It turns out that nothing is inevitable in the affairs of man. Things happen because men make them happen.

The other side of this, the people trying to harness the forces of society, never stop to wonder if they are wrong. As they work to gain control of events, they are so certain in their righteousness they resemble fanatics. They never wonder if they are wrong. They know they are on the right side of history. As Bertrand Russel put it, “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.”

That is the place to start for all dissidents. What if we’re wrong? What if all of the critiques of and arguments for cosmopolitan globalism are wrong? What then? That’s start of the journey in search of an alternative to the prevailing orthodoxy. It is not only the questioning of conventional wisdom, but the questioning of the critics of the conventional wisdom. Maybe the reason for the current crisis is that everyone was wrong about the new world order that emerged after the Cold War.

For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!

Radical Parallels

At the end of President Trump’s State of the Union speech last night, the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, dramatically tore up her copy of the speech. Given the state of left-wing politics, it is smart to assume it was a well-rehearsed stunt cooked up by an army of pollsters, drama coaches and consultants. On the other hand, the woman is so feeble minded now it is unlikely she could remember where she is, much less a carefully constructed role. It was probably authentic.

Pelosi is considered one of the more sober minded people in the Democratic Party, but that speaks to the derangement of the party and the political class. Not so long ago, she was a member of the fruitcake wing of the House. That was the collection of far-left goofballs that everyone joked about, often to their faces. Her district was known for being the most left-wing, and whitest, districts in the House. Now she is the Speaker and the head of the “moderate” wing of her party.

This is not without precedent. In the 19th century, radical anti-abolitionists started out as the extreme fringe of social reformers. These were mostly women and effeminate males coming from reformed Christianity. The sober minded reformers wanted to find a practical way to wind down slavery. Even Lincoln saw the radical Republicans as a threat to sanity, but eventually the radicals were able to push their way to the center of American political life in the aftermath of the war.

It is a useful parallel to this age. The story of the Civil War was recast in the 20th century to please the vanity of the new managerial class, so most people have no idea what happened before or after. The impeachment of Andrew Johnson, for example, should be a popular topic today, given what is happening, but that incident does not fit the modern narrative. It was not much of a topic during the Clinton impeachment either, which speaks to the larger issues involved in the narrative.

In the run-up to the Civil War, the radical abolitionists were every bit as delusional about human nature and how society could be organized, as the radicals of this age. Their experience with blacks of any type was limited to those they experienced in their salons and meeting houses. The “magic negro” phenomenon was probably born in this era, as it both titillated and encouraged the radicals. The radical was not ending an immoral practice but saving a glorious people from bondage.

The radicals were sure that defeating the South would not only end the practice of slavery, but wipe out the culture and people that maintained it. This was the birth of anti-white hatred among Northern radicals. These people imagined a South that was literally run by the former slaves, while the white remnant lived under their rule. Of course, the reality of war and its aftermath did not sway them. The reality of reconstruction only made them more fanatical and angrier.

If you look at the history of someone like Henry Winter Davis, a radical from Maryland, you see the decent into radicalism. He was an Episcopal clergyman, then as now a common source of radical madness. He was a slave holder and Whig, then moved into anti-slavery politics. He then flipped into abolitionism, siding with Republicans and eventually becoming a leader of the radicals. He co-sponsored the infamous Wade–Davis Bill, which even Lincoln thought was too much.

It is a useful parallel to now. The radicals of today really thought the election of Obama was the dawn of a new post-white age. They even talked about the parallels between him and Lincoln. The new post-white world would no longer have to tolerate, much less placate, the bad whites in places like the old South. Further, the elevation of Hillary Clinton as the first female president, would complete the circle. The door would finally be closed on old white male America.

Just as the reality of the war and its aftermath further radicalized the already radical Republicans, the election of Trump sent the modern radicals into a frenzy. In the 19th century, the frenzy led to the impeachment of Andrew Johnson, for the crime of holding office and following through on Lincoln’s reconstruction plans. Today, the radicals have impeached Trump for the crime of existing. In both cases, impeachment is a cathartic tantrum or a moan of agony of the unrealized destiny.

Interestingly, Henry Winter Davis wrote a book early in his career, titled, The War of Ormuzd and Ahriman in the Nineteenth Century. In it, Davis described the American Republic and the Russian Empire as the opponents in a global struggle for the salvation of humanity. Given that America could barely guard its own shores at the time, it was quite a grandiose vision. It is a good reminder though that American radicals have had an obsession with Russia for a long time.

Historical comparisons are only useful as rules of thumb, rather than precise, point by point, comparisons. The radicals of the 19th century were operating in a different world than the radicals of today. Even a fanatic like Henry Winter Davis would have recoiled in horror at what passes for normal now. Even so, it is a useful comparison that helps explain the current year. Then as now, radicalism must burn itself out in the destruction of that which it seeks to reform.

In the fullness of time, this age will most likely be viewed as the end point of a cycle that began in the last century. Perhaps the end of several cycles. The end of the Jewish century in America will be a cabal of paranoid Jewish radicals failing to remove the last white male president. Impeachment will be the last gasp of the old order, ushering in an age of reform. Maybe it will be the end point of order itself, setting off the final battle between the radicals and the defenders of civilization.

No one can know, but the Civil War was both the end of a long cycle that dated back to before the founding and the start of something new. People living in the age of Lincoln could easily relate to the people who lived through the Revolution. Two generations later and the people were entirely divorced from their past. They were the product of a new founding, a new republic. Something similar probably lies in store for the people two generations from now. This age will be foreign to them.

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Sports Bowl Thoughts

The big Super Bowl extravaganza has come and gone. The television people will tell us that this one, like all the others, was the most watched event ever. They say that every year, but whether it is true or not is hard to know. Television ratings are like everything else about modern times. You have to assume they are a part of the endless fire hose of lies that come from the propaganda organs. Even so, most people watched it and are expected to talk about it the next day with coworkers.

That is the one unique thing about this extravaganza versus others. There is strong social pressure to participate in the festivities. If you are white, no one expects you to follow the NBA, but you’re not expected to watch the World Series or the Stanley Cup Playoffs either. No one talks about the ads placed in these events or the pop stars that perform at them. The Super Bowl is the one unique event that is intended to be for everyone to one degree or another.

How many people actually watch the game is hard to know. Lots of people are at parties for the game and that means partying rather than watching. The game is just an excuse to get together with friends, day drink and cook outside in winter. Many people watch just for the ads, which are often quite clever. The game itself is mostly ads. The four-hour show is probably close to two hours of ads. The sideshows are often just ads for something or someone, but made up to look like entertainment.

For this reason, the Super Bowl is the great cultural measuring stick. The people in charge know they have the attention of most Americans, so they hit people right between the eyes with their best propaganda. President Trump, for example, ran ads promoting his efforts to throw open the prison doors so black criminals could be allowed to roam free. Presumably, he thinks he needs to sure up his support among the career criminal class in America’s urban areas.

The ads people like are the ones for product. Every year there are a flood of news stories about which ads were best and which ones missed the mark. The Super Bowl is something like an annual fashion show for ad makers. They work hard to put on a great ad, which presumably will help them get business the rest of the year. The cost of a single ad is over five million dollars, so it is big business. A particularly bad ad could cause real harm to the ad maker and his client.

Of course, the ads tell us something about what the Cloud People think about the Dirt People watching the show. This year the ads were full of non-whites, with some sexual deviants tossed in for variety. The one normal white person was aging comic Bill Murray, who reprised his role from the movie Groundhog Day for a Jeep ad. Otherwise, the ads looked like the America the elites dream of inflicting on us rather than the actual audience watching the extravaganza.

Then there was the halftime show, which is another big draw for the non-sports fans, mostly women, of course. This year is was a local stripper and her friends, pole dancing in the middle of the field. They performed to what sounded like every Santana song ever made, so presumably they were Latinos. One of the grounds crew put on a silver cape and top hat, then wandered around among the strippers for some reason, while mumbling something in Spanish.

The interesting thing, disappointing to our people, is the audience that makes this extravaganza possible is white, while the ads, halftime show and game are all in celebration of non-whites. Taken as a whole, the target demographic of the event was closer to Brazil than North America. It’s not just the complexion of the people, but the culture they celebrate. For racially aware white people, the whole thing is an alien production clearly aimed at an alien people.

It is tempting to get angry about it. There are plenty of people on-line, who will scold you for having watched any of it. Others will wag their finger about how most whites are so degraded they don’t see what is happening on their TV screens. The truth is most white people see it too. They are conditioned to filter it out and pluck out the bits of joy they can, while ignoring the propaganda. They are not mindless automatons programmed to consume the product without noticing it.

Propaganda works best when it offers the simplest explanation for a set of observable facts or events. It is a narrative that can be easily swapped into the target’s brain in place of his other explanations. What you saw on the Super Bowl show was a lecture by humorless people, aimed at people they hate. People were willing to sit through it in order to enjoy their parties and so forth, but they got the message. Some more than others, for sure, but people are not blind to this stuff.

That is the thing to keep in mind. People have been conditioned to keep these observations private. They have not been brainwashed. Finding a way to notice along with them is how people slowly realize they are not alone. That is the first step in breaking the conditioning. The bombarding of people with the anti-white presentations are a benefit to the effort. Only a lunatic could deny what they saw on the big Super Bowl show. The bad guys are making it easy.

For sites like this to exist, it requires people like you chipping in a few bucks a month to keep the lights on and the people fed. It turns out that you can’t live on clicks and compliments. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you don’t want to commit to a subscription, make a one time donation. Or, you can send money to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. You can also use PayPal to send a few bucks, rather than have that latte at Starbucks. Thank you for your support!

The People’s Avenger

The trouble with most conspiracy theories, in addition to being wrong, is they tend to distract from the more important issue. The conspiratorially minded like to play connect the dots, linking various people together in support of their favorite theory. Each node of the conspiracy has the same interests as the other, which is why they are conspiring together on some caper. More often than not, the connections are incidental and explained by other, less nefarious, reasons.

Those incidental and casual connections, however, are the important bit to study, as it explains much about the current age. For example, the current impeachment hoax is the result of conspiracy theories cooked up a social network in Washington. The people involved are all friends and acquaintances, who live in the same place and circulate among the same group of people. What looks like a conspiracy is the result of an emergent set of beliefs within a social set.

Eric Ciaramella, the CIA plant, who concocted the predicate for the impeachment hoax is friends with John Brennan, the former CIA director. He is also in the same social set as members of Adam Schiff’s crew of witch hunters. Like a religious cult, these people reinforce the paranoia of one another with these bizarre theories to explain what they think is some great anomaly. Trump could not have won the election fair and square, so there must be some hidden reason behind it.

The problem with looking at this as a conspiracy theorist would is it shifts the focus from the social networks from which this conspiracy theory emerged. The reason for this and all of the other capers we have seen of late is that these people are now a separate and insulated community, rather than civil servants living on our communities. Their roles in the state are not jobs that provide them with a salary, but a way of life that is all encompassing.

Someone like Eric Ciaramella is not hanging out with his neighbor the accountant or the lawyer across the street. His kids are not playing with the plumber’s kids. His wife is not hanging out with other moms at the soccer field. His social life is entangled with his professional life. This was clear in the seditious plot run by the FBI. These people were all friends before they became subversives. Their jobs in the bureaucracy are not what they do for work. It is who they are as people.

The social aspect is most evident in the media. This puff piece in The Atlantic about disgraced neocons Steve Hayes and Jonah Goldberg is a good example. Both are long time conspiracy theorists, who have traveled in the same circles for years. Back in the Bush years, Hayes pushed the insane theory that Saddam Hussein was somehow involved in the 9/11 attack. Goldberg, of course, has made all sorts of bizarre claims about Donald Trump and his voters.

Now, the glue holding this absurd vanity project together is rage over the 2016 election, but it could not happen without the wide ranging social network. These people all live near one another and socialize with one another. They have posts of various importance at the same think tanks and foundations. They work the same donor class for money for these media projects. The world of conservative opinion in Washington is a closed community walled off from the rest of us.

The temptation is to focus on the absurdity of that puff piece in The Atlantic. After all, both of these people were promoters of the Russia hoax and both were cheerleaders for the pointless wars of choice in the Bush years. Two shameless liars now claiming to operate an antidote to fake news is easy to mock. The more important part though is the fact that such a thing even exists and is promoted by other media. Again, it is the result of that community of likeminded that exists around Washington.

That puff piece in The Atlantic is a favor to friends. The guy running The Atlantic is a fanatical Zionist and anti-Trump crusader. He’s happy to promote this project as a favor to his community. The writer, McKay Coppins, is a fellow traveler, happy to slobber over this project, as he could get a job there one day. Maybe it will get him a look at one of the think tanks that prop up many of these media operations. Although, he may have to change religions to land one of those gigs.

This is fundamentally the problem with Washington. It is an incestuous community cut off from the rest of us. That’s why no one ever gets punished for screwing up or breaking the law. Bill Barr is not going to prosecute the crooked FBI agents, because their friends are his friends. That would put him in bad odor with the rest of the community and we can’t have that. It’s not a conspiracy, but a community coming together to support their own.

Of course, this is most obvious in the media, which exists to promote and defend their friends in the political class. Stephen Hayes keeps his perch at Fox News, despite being wrong about everything for two decades. Goldberg plays the affable dufus to such great effect, not one can tell if he is acting. The whole point of having pundits on to comment about the news is they are supposed to bring expertise and insider knowledge. Instead it is high paying workfare for the community dimwits.

This is why reform is impossible. Trump winning the 2016 election just stiffened the resolve of the community. If Bernie Sanders wins the 2020 election, he will be invading Syria by 2022. His supporters in the socialist camp will learn the same lesson dissident have been faced with since 2016. The community that runs the empire is immune from the consequences of elections. It is always heads they win, tails we lose. The only reform that is possible is the people’s avenger.

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Impersonal Tyranny

Generational politics are useless, for the most part, but you can see certain trends when comparing generations. Marriage and fertility rates are the two best examples. Go back to the generation that fought the Great War and you see very high marriage rates, even among blacks, high fertility rates and low illegitimacy rates. Examine subsequent generations and you see how all of those measures changed. The childless urbanite cat lady was many generations in the making.

You can tease out something similar by looking at how people ruled over people in the past versus the present day. A century ago, most men were directly ruled by other men in their daily lives. This is not about political structures, although that was often true, but rather the interpersonal relations of daily life. Men worked for other men. Whether it was in a factory, at the docks, in agriculture or anywhere else, men worked for men in a very direct and personal way. They had a boss who bossed them around.

A man working on the docks, unloading ships, would show up for the daily muster and a supervisor would assign him to a gang. He and the other men in the gang would be directed by some other man. Correction was in the form of yelling and threats. If there was some confusion, the man in charge took control and told the other men what they should be doing. There was no committee that issued a bland directive or a bit of software that compelled a certain type of behavior.

That is a big difference compared to today. While most people have a boss in their work place, the boss has no real authority. He is just a conduit for company policy. He gets trained in people skills, the sorts of passive-aggressive cajoling that passes for management skills in the modern corporation. Increasingly, he does not actually manage his people. He uses software to measure productivity and issues bland e-mails to his staff. He measures compliance with the software system.

This is most obvious in a warehouse facility. In the old days, men would pick pack and stack items in the warehouse, at the direction of a supervisor. If they screwed up or screwed off, the boss would yell at them. Today, they are directed by an algorithm that guides their work. A hand held corrects their mistakes in real time and provides structure to their movements. Software tracks their productivity. The people inside an Amazon facility are ruled by robots, not men.

This is not just the result of technology and the drive for efficiency. A big driver is the declining personal skills of modern people. Each generation becomes less secure in confronting their fellow humans. A century ago, the boss enthusiastically corrected his people and his people just accepted it. Getting reamed out by the boss was just a part of life on the job. Today, getting corrected by the boss could very well result in counseling sessions for both parties.

You see the generational aspect to this on the campus. This story about the University of Missouri monitoring their students like pets is a good example. Within living memory, instructors took attendance and confronted the tardy and chronically absent. Since neither side of that transaction in the current age could withstand the emotional strain of such a confrontation, software will do the job. The students will happily comply, preferring to be ruled by their mobile devise.

This is a dynamic, of course. As technology allowed businesses, for example, to improve error rates, they began to subtly select for different types of people. The hands-on, direct style of management slowly fell out of favor.  Similarly, the best people to hire as workers were those comfortable using technology. Each generation was more tuned to the impersonal styled than the prior generation. This has continued over a few generations to where we are now.

Where we are now, however, is a curious place. Spend time on a college campus and some things jump out at you. One is the students are surprisingly compliant. The days of college pranks and rebellion are largely over, especially at the elite colleges. The students are consumed with adhering to the rules, as well as currying favor with their human superiors. The woke rage heads get headlines, but college life is now mostly a culture of banal conformity.

It has also made young people socially awkward. Young people have grown up interacting with one another through the medium of technology. Participation in sports, for example, is at all-time lows. Free play is unheard of today. Instead, the young generation has been raised to have a robot master gently nudging them along, even in their interactions with their fellow humans. One consequence has been the sharp decline in sex. It turns out that socially awkward weirdos have less sex.

A preference for impersonal rule and the collapse of interpersonal skills does not bode well for the future of western society. Prisons function along these lines. The guards are rule-following functionaries in a system. The system is designed to reduce socialization among the inmates, in order to maintain control and reduce conflict. A society built on such principles will inevitably lead to a similar authoritarianism. After all, there are no elections inside a prison.

That may be what we are seeing with the rise of the tech giants. The old organizational systems of liberal democracy no longer fit a people, afraid of one another, but comfortable with machines. Instead of a revolution and new political order, the machines are simply filling the vacuum. The politicians no longer have the will to create and enforce rules, so the tech giants have their robots do it. Again, most young people prefer it. They want the machines running their lives.

It has always been assumed that if mankind is going to off itself, it will be through the accidental use of technology. Something like a nuclear war or a man-made plague are the most popular options. It may be that our demise will simply be due to technology dehumanizing us to the point where we no longer have enough interest in one another to bother mating. Instead of fire, it will be ice, the icy stare of people looking at one another through the lens of technology.

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The New Hope

One of the unique features of the current year is the very large gap, the great divide, that separates conventional wisdom and its critics. On one side, the conventional side, people still operate inside the moral framework that formed up in the 1960’s and blossomed in the 1980’s. On the other side are the critics and dissidents, who are operating under an entirely different framework. Not only is there no overlap or areas of agreement, there’s little contact between the two sides.

This is a new thing. In the 1980’s, as the neoliberalism was coming together, critics and enthusiasts occupied the same physical and cultural space. On TV chat shows, old school conservatives could challenge new school conservatives about trade and immigration policy. Paleo-libertarians could challenge both sides of conventional politics on money, economics and social policy. Newspapers would run columns by columnists, who questioned the emerging orthodoxy.

That’s not something you see these days. For example, read conventional conservative websites and they are nothing but the same dull mush they have been churning out for the last few decades. There are no lively discussions about immigration or the impact of the demographic changes. National Review hardly bothers to cover Trump. They just seem to be waiting it all out, hoping the bad man goes away. Otherwise, they carry on like 2016 never happened and that mob to their right does not exist.

The Left is actually much worse. Take an evening and watch the left-wing cable chat shows and you will find yourself in a world of make believe. It’s a useful only in that it is a glimpse inside the very weird world of the Washington chattering classes. Again, the days of having on contrary opinion are long gone. Instead, these shows and the print publications that fuel them are like choirs. They sing familiar tunes to the faithful in order to drive away all doubt. The one true faith is all you see.

This strange insularity is, in part, what is driving the dissident right. Every day refugees from the other side turn up on this side, looking for answers. After the six millionth recitation of the catechism, even the timid start to wonder why things never seem to get better for the bulk of Americans. The funny guys with the frog things at least offer some comic relief. Traditional Christians find themselves on the same side as racists, because the people on the other side made it so.

An illuminating example of this hard divide between orthodoxy and dissent is this post by Steve Sailer, reviewing a book by conservative thinker Christopher Caldwell. Sailer describes his book as “an explosive rethinking of history since JFK’s assassination that comes to the reactionary conclusion that the only salvation for American conservatism is to repeal the sainted 1964 Civil Rights Act and restore the constitutional right to freedom of association.”

Right away, that should cause most dissidents to stop and wonder how it is possible that such a conclusion is novel in anyway. As recent as the 1980’s, critics could openly talk about the negative consequences of the Civil Rights Act. Into the last decade, legal scholars could publicly question disparate impact, which is one of the deformities that has arisen from the arguments behind the civil rights. Today, none of this is possible on the other side. Those things can only be spoken of on this side.

That’s why Caldwell’s book will be treated like an original document by the people on the other side of the great divide. The sorts of topics and modes of thought increasingly common on this side of the great divide are completely forgotten on the other side of the great divide. So much so that many people on that side, even the smarter ones, are barely away such thinking exists. It is as if they live in a universe that now operates by a different set of natural rules. It truly is a great divide.

Now, it must be noted that Caldwell probably does pay attention to what happens on this side, as best he can. He has to dodge the morality police, so perhaps that is why he chooses to frame his critique as he does. Still, it has the feel of someone, after having done everything they could to get their way and silence their critics, discovering they were wrong all along. Instead of rehabilitating their critics, however, they proudly claim their arguments for their own.

That’s not what’s at work here. Caldwell, as far as anyone can tell, has not been standing with the harpies, as they drive out the unbelievers. He’s always been a skeptic of the prevailing orthodoxy. He is, however, an insider, a house approved critic, who speaks to that audience. His book is not aimed at dissidents, but at the sorts of people he socializes with at book parties and conferences. He is one of them, not one of us, even if he does not share their loathing for us.

This does reveal a truth about any possible reform movement that could arrest the decline of the West. If the other side is to regain their wits and begin to turn back from the abyss, they will have to do so believing they are the ones sorting this all out. They will not credit the people they drove away, for the crime of questioning what turned out to be a defective orthodoxy. Reformers need the legitimacy of insiders, which means maintaining the gulags for the old heretics.

Even so, what Caldwell’s book suggests, however, is that there is some leakage between the dissident right and the prevailing orthodoxy. It is not a one-way mirror that divides the two sides. Some of things on this side are slowly making their way over. For those hoping for a peaceful transition back to normalcy, there’s the white pill. One book here, one speech there and before long, the other side has their Khrushchev. It is a thin reed, but it is some hope for a soft landing.

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Quantity & Quality

Minority populations in any society have faced the twin problems of expulsion and absorption by the majority population. On the one hand, they need to play an important enough role to be needed by the majority, but not become a threat. On the other hand, they need to maintain enough separation between themselves and the majority in order to keep their people from fully assimilating and disappearing. Assimilation in America, for example, has erased much of late 19th century immigration.

The Amish are a popular example used by people interested in demography as well as human behavior. Beginning in the early 18th century, these mostly German Anabaptists began moving from southwestern Germany to Pennsylvania. They were rural people, so they settled into rural parts of the colony as farmers. They setup their unique communities and exist to this day as a unique and separate minority. Amish in America number about four hundred thousand.

A theory for why this tiny minority that lives outside modernity has managed to survive is that they have become more Amish over time. That is, the traits that make them Amish have become more intense in the population. This has been a natural counter to the increasing pressure of the modern world, which seeks to homogenize everything to death. As the tentacles of cosmopolitan globalist get stronger, this defense mechanism of the Amish has grown stronger as well.

The theory works something like this. Let’s assume a range of Amishness that runs from one to ten. One is the least Amish and ten is the most Amish. In the early years, the average Amishness of the group was around five. Some people were attracted to the community for reasons other than the rural, separatist lifestyle. Others were extremely attracted to the whole package that defines the Amish community. Let’s assume a normal distribution of Amishness in the community.

Over time, the people closer to the low end of the scale would peel off for one reason or another, deciding to leave the community. The sorts that were just in it for religious reasons would find a community of people who shared their beliefs, but also engaged in the modern world. Every generation, the people lacking the Amish trait would be tempted to leave the community. In time, the average Amishness would increase as the low score left and the high score multiplied.

This is not just a cultural issue. There is a biological component. Just as height is a function of genes, personality traits are also rooted in our genes. This unique sense of belonging was most likely part of this people before they embraced their particular religion in the Reformation. Inside the group, the more intensely Amish will be more fertile, while the rest will be less productive. Every generation, the most Amish of the Amish would outnumber the least Amish, increasing over all Amishness.

That’s the very shorthand version of what is called boiling off. Something similar has probably been happening with ultra-orthodox Jews. Those Jews with the traits that are selected for by the cult rise in status, get married to a female inside the cult and have lots of children. Those lacking these traits, are not only less desirable, but less interested in wearing fur hats in summer. They will be less likely to marry a member of the cult and reproduce. They may leave and take their genes with them.

These populations of ultra-orthodox Jews have developed a natural barrier between themselves and the host society. Anyone who has had dealings with the ultra-orthodox knows they are like space aliens. In fact, they are like extremely obnoxious space aliens, who seem to oblivious to their surroundings. Their hostility to outsiders is so intense and instinctive, it presents a barrier between them and everyone else. Even other Jews, maybe especially other Jews, find them impossible to tolerate.

This raises the question as to whether some form of this has played out in the more secular Jewish community. Ethnocentrism most certainly has biological roots, growing out of endogamy, the habit of marrying within the group. This was true of Ashkenazim for a long time until they reached America. In the 20th century, these Jews were faced with a set of conditions for which they had no natural defense. That is, they faced no strong hostility from the majority society.

Beginning in the middle of the 20th century, the Ashkenazim could marry outside the group and participate in all aspects of society. The result being lots of the less Jewish members simply blending into the surrounding population. First, they lost their connection to the faith and then they lost their connection to the identity. Lots of Americans have a Jewish grandparent or great grandparent, but have no connection to Judaism or Jewish identity. That was lost in the past.

Unlike the Amish or ultra-orthodox, over all fertility among Jews has plummeted, so the highly ethnocentric are not producing children faster than Jews are defecting. The overall size of the Jewish community has declined of late and current fertility numbers suggests a sharp drop in this century. Still, if the highly ethnocentric marry within the group, the result over time could be an increase in ethnocentrism. Those with strong Jewish identity will be the those with extreme ethnocentrism.

Of course, without the more secular and assimilated Jews around to police the ranks for excessive expressions of ethnocentrism, the hyper-Jews begin to dominate. That could be why the modern media age seems to be festooned with Jews like Michelle Goldberg and Ben Shapiro. There are no moderate Jews around to muzzle these people or at least moderate them. From the perspective of outsiders, these extreme voices of ethnocentrism become the voice of the entire Jewish community.

This raises another angle. As America becomes majority-minority, the same sorts of pressures will shape white populations. Southern whites, for example, will probably become more Southern. Those with a strong sense of community will marry others with the same traits and have lots of kids. The Southern whites, who wish to live as urbanite bugmen, will head off to urban areas to die. This will repeat in all regions and over time, the regional culture will become more intense.

That’s not the only possibility, of course, but it is good reminder that numbers are not all that matters in demographics. The Amish have survived in a hostile world by becoming more intensely Amish. Jews have survived all over the world through endogamy and ethnocentrism. Cultural and spiritual intensity, like fanaticism, are force multipliers. They allow small groups to punch well about their numbers, even less intelligent people like the gypsies.

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